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South Africa’s mobile content and applications firms have collaborated continuously with the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) over the past five years to boost consumer protection in terms of the industry’s ‘heads up’ compliance process.
WASPA’s 400 members have committed themselves to adhere to provisions as set out in the Association’s Code of Conduct. This includes the informal ‘heads up’ compliance mechanism, which complements the formal compliance provisions. The Code explicitly aims to protect the South African mobile consumer and provisions relating to how mobile content and services may be advertised, for example, are vigorously enforced.
Typically, the heads up process will see WASPA’s media monitoring team surveying various media platforms to test whether services offered by WASPA members comply with the Code of Conduct. The team will then identify and flag potential non-compliant products or services, requesting members to revise and resolve the non-compliancy within 48 hours.
“The heads up process allows WASPA to remedy non-compliance issues very quickly and follows worldwide trends to complement slower formal complaints procedures with faster informal processes,” says WASPA General Manager, Ilonka Badenhorst.
The regular fine-tuning of the flagship WASP industry compliance vehicle – the WASPA Code of Conduct – occurs side by side with the implementation of the heads up process.
“This two-pronged approach is highly-effective and frees up trained legal expertise to focus on serious breaches of the WASPA Code,” Ms Badenhorst explains.
WASPA first introduced a Code of Conduct to regulate the then emerging mobile content and applications industry in 2004. “From a loose collection of like-minded firms wanting to offer increased choice to the mobile consumer, the sector is today an important contributor to South Africa’s vibrant cellular industry. Our members are prolific producers of apps and the interesting content that makes them appealing to well over 35 million cellular consumers,” added Ms Badenhorst.
A non-profit organisation, WASPA was founded on 26 August 2004 in South Africa with the full support of the three SA network operators: Cell C, MTN and Vodacom. Fostering consumer confidence in the WASP industry through responsible self-regulation is a key focus of the Association.
Please visit www.waspa.org.za for further information.